SGA to take students to Montgomery for funding rally

SGA Beat Writer Jessica B. Livingston

The Student Government Association is taking a bus to Montgomery Feb. 23 to attend Higher Education Day, a statewide event for students to rally in hopes of raising university funding.

Higher Education Day provides an opportunity to remind Alabama’s political leaders of the need to improve the university appropriations, according to the Higher Education Partnership website.

SGA President Sarah Green said the budget for schools in Alabama is divided into thirds.

“Two-thirds of the budget goes to funding pre-school through 12th grade,” she said. “The other fund, one-third, is the higher education fund.”

The event is available to all students, and the bus ride is free. The trip includes breakfast, coffee, box lunches and a free T-shirt for students who attend.

Green said Higher Education Day is an annual event where 14 public Alabama universities go to the state house to rally outside the building.

“SGA is the organization that helps get all the student to the rally,” Green said.

Dante said so far 42 students have reserved a spot to attend. There is no limit on how many students can go.

Green said registration will remain open until the morning of the event. There will be three buses available to students and if those fill up, students may drive their own vehicles, she said.

“There will be an extra bus there and if we run out of seats there will be people driving,” she said.

To participate, students can RSVP via tinyurl.com/unahigheredday.

Junior Kelly Grace Johnson said she believes students should speak up about higher education funding.

“Higher Education should be a higher priority for our state,” she said. “As a student working and paying my own way through college, I would love to attend this rally.”

Legislative Affairs Chairman Hugo Dante said received $1,200 in donations from academic colleges to allow SGA to make the event possible.

Dante said some of the UNA students who attended last year are in the highlight video on the home-page of the Higher Education Partnership website.

SGA Secretary Jessica McAllister said she encourages students to wake up early to attend the rally because it’s a “fun day.”

Junior Garrett Fowler said he would like to go.

“It seems like it is for a good reason,” he said. “I probably won’t get up as early as they need to leave, though — 5 a.m. is early.”

SGA encourages all students to join them in taking the trip to the capital to fight for higher education funding, Green said.